2011 Alpina B5 (F10) Bi-Turbo: official details, photos and specs

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Brace yourself for the full details of BMW Alpina's B5 F10 Bi-Turbo, which is based on the 2011 BMW 5-Series. Under the hood, we find the 4.4-liter V8, which can deliver 507 PS (373 kW) and 700 Nm of torque.

For optimal results, the indirect intercooling system, as well as other parts, was modified. And to achieve a fuel economy rating of 10.8 liters/100 km, it is partnered with a SWITCH-TRONIC 8-speed sport automatic transmission from ZF.

The vehicle is capable of accelerating from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds and can hit a top speed of 307 km/h (191 mph). B5 is also equipped with a "neutral" suspension set-up that includes shorter but progressive springs and specialized suspension arms. Also offered is an electronically-adjustable system (Variable Damper Control) that comes in four settings: Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+.

Alpina B5 gets 20-inch Alpina wheels covered in 255/35ZR20 tires at the front and 285/30ZR20 for the rear. A full aerodynamic package consists of Alpina branded front fascia, side skirts, rear bumper with an integrated quad-exhaust and optional diffuser.

The interior gets a leather finish with electronic gadgets, including gauges in a black panel LCD display from Alpina. Pricing has yet to be revealed.

The 2011 Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo does not feature "properly stiff" suspensions, but instead has a neutral set-up that provides the ideal technical compromise. This was partly achieved by employing shorter yet very progressive springs and special suspension arms, resulting to more camber on the vehicle's front track.

For this vehicle, ALPINA went for a balanced and direct chassis set-up, setting aside the pure sport-orientated approach for achieving an agile suspension with precise turn-in. Supporting this chassis set-up are lightweight 20-inch ALPINA CLASSIC wheels wrapped in new Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires measuring 255/35ZR20 at the front and 285/30ZR20 at the rear.

Aside from providing a very high level of high-speed stability, these all-round non run-flat tires are capable of offering greater traction on wet roads, enhanced hydro-planing behavior and outstanding rolling comfort.

To meet customer demands for comfort, everyday usability and sharp handling, ALPINA fitted the B5 Bi-Turbo with electronically adjustable suspension (Variable Damper Control). This allows the driver to choose between different modes -- Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ -- just by accessing the control switch located on the left of the shift lever.

ALPINA has calibrated this system, connecting it to other system parameters that control steering assistance, torque cushioning and DSC. The B5 Bi-Turbo is also capable of transitioning seamlessly from being a comfortably luxurious car to one that offers dynamic performance.

All of these attributes -- light steering, seamless shifting transmission and ultra-comfort – make the B5 Bi-Turbo any driver's perfect partner during stop-and-go traffic, long trips, or when travelling over rough road surfaces.

But when required, a driver just needs to push a button to make the B5 Bi-Turbo capable of maneuvering corners and thrilling road sections, turning itself into a very agile and light-footed car. Moreover, drivers would love not having to do mandatory up-shifts, thanks to the combination of the eight-speed sport automatic's manual mode and the Sport or Sport+ modes.

This means that when tackling twisty sections of road or around hairpins, drivers would not need to manually upshift and thus remain in their selected gear. Customers can have their B5 Bi-Turbo specified with the optional Dynamic Drive, which reduces body roll in corners and makes the vehicle more agile.

When running in Sport+ mode, the B5 Bi-Turbo's dynamic control systems offer a leveled-up version of DSC – Dynamic Traction Control or DTC. DTC could enable more slip at the B5 Bi-Turbo's rear wheels and even delay the point at which the traction control systems step in.

Press Release

BMW ALPINA B5 Bi-Turbo

The finely honed balance between athleticism, comfort and every-day luxury that has defined ALPINA automobiles for decades reaches a new dimension in the BMW ALPINA B5 Bi-Turbo. Five different generations of 5 Series-based ALPINA automobiles have been developed in the last 35 years, revealing to those in the know a unique and exclusive driving experience. The sixth generation draws from the finest ingredients provided by those previous generations to create a mouth-watering palette of characteristics for the most discerning of drivers in the high performance luxury saloon segment.

THE POWERTRAIN – First Class In Both Performance And Economy

First introduced in the BMW ALPINA B7 Bi-Turbo, the all-aluminium V8 powerplant endows the new B5 Bi-Turbo with sensational pace. It achieves 507 horsepower (373 kW) at a moderate 5,500rpm, with maximum torque of 700Nm from 3,000 to 4,750rpm. The "Bi-Turbo" appellation refers to the two turbochargers comfortably nestled inside the V shaped 8 cylinder block. They work in parallel, each feeding one of the two cylinder banks. Specially developed for ALPINA in partnership with Honeywell-Garrett, the bespoke exhaust turbines are generously dimensioned. Compared to its super-charged predecessor, this engine configuration delivers more torque over a broader rev range and improves throttle response at low revs.

To fully leverage the potential of the engine, ALPINA have optimised the indirect inter-cooling system (air-to-water / water-to-air) with short intake tracts and increased inter-cooler flow. The high-performance cooling package gains its thermo-dynamic efficiency through the use of a large-volume low-temperature
inter-cooler, as well as two water-to-air inter-coolers placed close to the engine. The pistons are a high-performance variant developed together with Mahle to deal with the extreme temperatures and pressures associated with up to 1.0 bar charging and the engine's 9.2:1 nominal compression ratio. Altogether this results in an impressive specific output of 115.3 horsepower (85kW) per litre and a mean total compression of 20.1 bar. Direct injection and Double-VANOS contribute to the B5 Bi-Turbo's class-leading performance in terms of emissions and economy in the super saloon segment: 10.8 l/100km (26.2 Imp. mpg) and 252g/km CO2 (Combined as per the ECE Norm).

TRANSMISSION – The Eight-Speed All-Rounder

Adapted and tested in cooperation with ZF, the advanced SWITCH-TRONIC 8-speed sport automatic transmission sets a new benchmark. With ALPINA's philosophy the guiding credo, our engineers have spent thousands of development and test hours ensuring that no other performance automatic transmission comes close to providing this level of both comfort and sportiness. The blend of eight speeds and plenty of torque makes for unparalleled comfortable gear changes with no noticeable interruption to the delivery of power – only the accompanying acoustics and the dynamic rev counter provide feedback as to the workings of the transmission. The 700Nm of torque means the B5 Bi-Turbo excels at gliding along at low speeds in a high gear with minimum revs, benefiting both consumption and comfort. In Sport mode a completely different character emerges: the transmission is crisp and unmistakably immediate. The innovative single-cylinder step-down (EZA), specially developed by ALPINA for the B5 Bi-Turbo allows for super quick up-shifts in just milliseconds, in spite of the high torque.

Depending on the load onthe transmission, the injection of fuel into a given cylinder is interrupted for a fraction of a second, creating the required reduction in torque that the automatic transmission needs for the up-shift. The advantage versus the typical timing retardation are noticeably quicker shifts, and improved thermo-dynamic efficiency due to reduced exhaust temperatures as well as lower fuel consumption. The single-cylinder step-down (EZA) is accompanied by a tone nothing short of spectacular, as each shift harbours a deeply sonorous back-pressure burble.

The Manual mode gives the driver full control over every shift. The SWITCH-TRONIC buttons are ergonomically and aesthetically positioned on the back side of the steering wheel, and can be used by the driver in whatever manner he or she wishes, based on traffic and the roadway at hand. The system also allows for multi-simultaneous down-shifts in fractions of a second, hereby the transmission will skip several gears depending on accelerator loads and revs. In this manner the 8-speed sport automatic transmission with ALPINA SWITCH-TRONIC reveals itself to be multi-faceted and able to provide the proper shift characteristic for any and all situations.

The intelligent coupling of state-of-the-art engine and transmission technologies give the B5 Bi-Turbo strong performance figures: just 4.7 seconds to 62mph (100km/h) are needed, on the way up to a top speed of 191mph (307km/h). Even if the driver is seldom in such a rush: massive braking capability in the form of ventilated high-performance brakes (front: 374mm/14.7in; rear 370mm/14.6in)
ensures braking on par with pure-bred sports cars.

SUSPENSION – Excitingly Sporty, Relaxingly Comfortable

The times when "properly stiff" suspensions were seen as a positive handling characteristic are long gone. It remains a fact that a truly neutral set-up, even at the limit, provides the best technical compromise. This is achieved in part through shorter yet very progressive springs and special suspension arms, which in
combination results in more camber on the front track. Together with 20" wheels and tyres, ALPINA have achieved a very balanced and direct chassis set-up, discarding a pure sport-orientated approach for an agile suspension with precise turn-in. The new light-weight 20" ALPINA CLASSIC are shod with the most advanced high performance tyre technology available today.

Making their debut on the B5 Bi-Turbo, the new MICHELIN PILOT SUPER SPORT tyres, which measure 255/35ZR20 at the front and 285/30ZR20 at the rear, provide highest levels of high-speed stability. In addition to improved all-round capabilities, these non run-flat tyres provide greater traction on wet roads, offer improved hydro-planing behaviour and excellent rolling comfort.

To fulfil the highest demands in terms of comfort, everyday usability and razor-sharp handling when called for, the B5 Bi-Turbo is equipped with electronicallyadjustable suspension (Variable Damper Control). Using the control switch mounted to the left of the shift lever, the driver can select between Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. This system has been artfully calibrated by ALPINA, and is tied into other system parameters controlling steering assistance, torque cushioning and DSC. The B5 Bi-Turbo transitions effortlessly from cultivated luxury to thorough-bred sportiness. Light steering, ultra-comfortable suspension and an imperceptibly shifting transmission B5 Bi-Turbo the ideal partner in stop-and-go traffic, when covering great distances or when encountering less than perfect road surfaces. Yet at the touch of a button, the B5 Bi-Turbo will track through tricky corners and exciting sections of road with an agility and light-footedness like no other in its class.

When the 8-speed sport automatic's manual mode is combined with the selection of the Sport or Sport+ modes, the driver benefits from a new feature: no mandatory up-shifts. When truly pressing on through twisty sections of road or around hairpins, skilled drivers can remain in their selected gear and not be interrupted by an up-shift. The optionally available Dynamic Drive reduces body roll in corners, awarding the B5 Bi-Turbo even more agility. When placed in Sport+ mode by the driver, the B5 Bi-Turbo's dynamic control systems offer a heightened form of DSC called Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), which allows noticeably more slip at the rear wheels and delays the point at which the traction control systems take over.

DESIGN & INTERIOR – Classic Craftsmanship Meets Modern Technology

THE BMW ALPINA B5 BITURBO – Brilliantly Balanced High Performance

The overall harmony and the accomplished manner with which the B5 Bi-Turbo's last fine calibrations were achieved are a common thread, and as always carry that ALPINA flair, our signature. Sovereign performance and opulent torque assure excellent performance, this in conjunction with "best-in-class" fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Neutral turn-in and road-holding, agile handling and a many-faceted, adjustable suspension satisfy the highest demands in terms of comfort and a sporting nature. The interior's warm ambience and modern treatments foster a sense of well-being. For those who would only award themselves that something unique, exclusive volumes and the ALPINA philosophy of hand-craftsmanship offer a nearly endless spectrum of personalisation.

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